Scant minutes remain until your home is engulfed
by the raging forest fire…gather what you can
My first thought on the prompt was to do one of those, “I would save these possessions because they are important. This is why they are important” posts. Then I said screw that noise. I decided on less of a reflective piece and more of a frantic, survival piece.
On another note, I will be taking next week off from the challenge. I’m moving into a new place on Monday and frankly I’ll have no time to write anything up.
See you in two weeks.
(You can read the response to my challenge here.)
I can still feel the room spinning as I rise from the bed. Spinning from a night out at the bar, a nice townie place. It’s the heat that woke me. This heat is stifling, hard to think, hard to breathe. I think I can see smoke coming from my bedroom door. An eerie glow.
The flesh on the palm of my hand sizzles on the doorknob as I try to exit. I scream in pain, it burns. It burns badly. Pus filled blisters begin to form immediately, each pulse from my heart is noticeable from my hand. There will be no relief from the pain anytime sure, I’m sure of it.
Kicking the door open, I stumble into a raging blaze. Fire engulfs everything, and the heat is growing more and more intense. There is no way that I can stay in here for much longer; my lungs are begging me, screaming at me to get a gasp of clean air. The visibility is two feet at most, smoke engulfs everything. When you’re in the dark walking around, it feels almost as if you’re floating. Smoke feels as if you’re swimming underwater, unable to surface and slowly drowning.
There is no time, there are things I need to save. Things that are important. Pictures, souvenirs, memorabilia; memories and monuments to past people and events. Things that need to be remembered. The closest thing that I can see is my diploma, hanging on the wall directly to my left. There are flames near the wall, but I can make it.
It burns too, the diploma. The glass almost feels gooey, as if it is slowly melting away. The pain is unbearable. When you touch something really hot, your hand instinctively pulls away without you fully realizing what has happened. Your hand actually reacts to the heat faster that the pain receptors can register to your brain that your hand is burning. If your hand waited for the pain to register, your injuries could be much worse. That’s how important a fraction of a second can be. I am unable to remove my hand from the diploma quickly. My hand sticks to the glass, unable to pull away.
I free my hand and realize that there is nothing that I would be able to save. There is nothing that I can protect. I was too late for that, too deep in a drunken slumber for too long. The only thing that is possible for me to save at this point is myself.
And seems it like that might be a challenge.
It is difficult to think through the pain. I’m unable to use either hand, trapped in the inferno. My only shot is through the nearest window, the only problem is that it is on the other side of flames. Oh well, no guts no glory. I guess.
My feet, bare due to the fact I was woken up, burn as I leap through the flames and out the window. I cut my arms and face from the glass. And there is no salvation out here. The forest, in my backyard, the forest is ablaze and it’s spreading.
Who knows, maybe I won’t need to worry about forgetting about those precious memories. I might not have enough time left to forget them.
Burnt, bruised and cut up, I run.